[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seed germination is the initial step of plant development. Seed priming with salt promotes seed germination in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.); however, the molecular and physiological mechanisms underlying the enhancement of seed germination by priming remain to be elucidated. In this study, we examined the following in seeds both during and after priming treatment: the endogenous abscisic acid (ABA) and gibberellin (GA) concentrations; the expression of genes encoding ABA catabolic and GA biosynthesis enzymes, including 8'-hydroxylase (CYP707A), copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS), GA 20-oxidase (GA20ox) and GA 3-oxidase (GA3ox); and endosperm cap weakening enzymes, including expansin (EXP), class I β-1,3-glucanase (GulB), endo-β-mannanase (MAN) and xyloglucan endotransglucosylase (XTH). Tomato seeds were soaked for 24 h at 25 °C in the dark in 300 mM NaCl (NaCl-priming) or distilled water (hydro-priming). For both priming treatments, the ABA content in the seeds increased during treatment but rapidly decreased after sowing. Both during and after the priming treatments, the ABA levels in the hydro-primed seeds and NaCl-primed seeds were not significantly different. The expression levels of SlGA20ox1, SlGA3ox1 and SlGA3ox2 were significantly enhanced in the NaCl-primed seeds compared to the hydro-primed seeds. The GA(4) content was quantifiable after both types of priming, indicating that GA(4) is the major bioactive GA molecule involved in tomato seed germination. The GA(4) content was significantly higher in the NaCl-primed seeds than in the hydro-primed seeds 12 h after sowing and thereafter. Additionally, the peak expression levels of SlEXP4, SlGulB, SlMAN2 and SlXTH4 occurred earlier and were significantly higher in the NaCl-primed seeds than in the hydro-primed seeds. These results suggest that the observed effect of NaCl-priming on tomato seed germination is caused by an increase of the GA(4) content via GA biosynthetic gene activation and a subsequent increase in the expression of genes related to endosperm cap weakening.
Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 03/2012; 52:28-37. · 2.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyamines are involved in crucial plant physiological events, but their roles in fruit development remain unclear. We generated transgenic tomato plants that show a 1.5- to 2-fold increase in polyamine content by over-expressing the spermidine synthase gene, which encodes a key enzyme for polyamine biosynthesis. Pericarp-columella and placental tissue from transgenic tomato fruits were subjected to (1)H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) for untargeted metabolic profiling and high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detection for carotenoid profiling to determine the effects of high levels of polyamine accumulation on tomato fruit metabolism. A principal component analysis of the quantitative (1)H NMR data from immature green to red ripe fruit showed a clear discrimination between developmental stages, especially during ripening. Quantification of 37 metabolites in pericarp-columella and 41 metabolites in placenta tissues revealed distinct metabolic profiles between the wild type and transgenic lines, particularly at the late ripening stages. Notably, the transgenic tomato fruits also showed an increase in carotenoid accumulation, especially in lycopene (1.3- to 2.2-fold), and increased ethylene production (1.2- to 1.6-fold) compared to wild-type fruits. Genes responsible for lycopene biosynthesis, including phytoene synthase, phytoene desaturase, and deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase, were significantly up-regulated in ripe transgenic fruits, whereas genes involved in lycopene degradation, including lycopene-epsilon cyclase and lycopene beta cyclase, were down-regulated in the transgenic fruits compared to the wild type. These results suggest that a high level of accumulation of polyamines in the tomato regulates the steady-state level of transcription of genes responsible for the lycopene metabolic pathway, which results in a higher accumulation of lycopene in the fruit.
Journal of plant physiology 02/2011; 168(3):242-52. · 2.50 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salt stress improves the quality of tomato fruits. To clarify the mechanism(s) underlying this phenomenon, we investigated metabolic alterations in tomato fruits exposed to 160 mM salt, focusing on metabolism of organic acids related to the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Quantitative analyses revealed that most amino acids increased in response to salt stress throughout fruit development, and the effect of the stress was greater in the pericarp than in the columella, whereas organic acids did not show a remarkable tendency to salt stress. The transcript levels of 20 genes encoding enzymes of the TCA cycle and peripheral pathways were also analyzed in salt-stressed fruit. Genes responsive to salt stress could be categorized into two types, which were expressed during early development or ripening stages. During fruit development, phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase 2 and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase displayed contrasting expression patterns between early development and ripening, suggesting a switch of carbohydrate metabolism after the turning stage. Our results revealed a new metabolic pathway for GABA during the development of tomato fruits. At the start of ripening, GABA is first converted to malate via succinate semialdehyde, and it passes into a shunt through pyruvate. Then, it flows back to the TCA cycle and is stored as citrate, which contributes as a substrate for respiration during fruit maturation.
Plant and Cell Physiology 08/2010; 51(8):1300-14. · 4.98 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salinity stress enhances sugar accumulation in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruits. To elucidate the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, the transport of carbohydrates into tomato fruits and the regulation of starch synthesis during fruit development in tomato plants cv. 'Micro-Tom' exposed to high levels of salinity stress were examined. Growth with 160 mM NaCl doubled starch accumulation in tomato fruits compared to control plants during the early stages of development, and soluble sugars increased as the fruit matured. Tracer analysis with (13)C confirmed that elevated carbohydrate accumulation in fruits exposed to salinity stress was confined to the early development stages and did not occur after ripening. Salinity stress also up-regulated sucrose transporter expression in source leaves and increased activity of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase (AGPase) in fruits during the early development stages. The results indicate that salinity stress enhanced carbohydrate accumulation as starch during the early development stages and it is responsible for the increase in soluble sugars in ripe fruit. Quantitative RT-PCR analyses of salinity-stressed plants showed that the AGPase-encoding genes, AgpL1 and AgpS1 were up-regulated in developing fruits, and AgpL1 was obviously up-regulated by sugar at the transcriptional level but not by abscisic acid and osmotic stress. These results indicate AgpL1 and AgpS1 are involved in the promotion of starch biosynthesis under the salinity stress in ABA- and osmotic stress-independent manners. These two genes are differentially regulated at the transcriptional level, and AgpL1 is suggested to play a regulatory role in this event.
Journal of Experimental Botany 12/2009; 61(2):563-74. · 5.79 Impact Factor